The Federal Threat
With the confirmation of anti-choice firebrand Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, President Trump is poised to fulfill his campaign promise and dismantle legal abortion. Whether Roe v. Wade is overturned or gutted, there is little doubt that the landscape of reproductive freedom in the United States is on the precipice of a significant shift, impacting the lives of millions of women.
In this uncertain environment, Massachusetts has an opportunity — and an imperative — to be bold. We must be on the front lines of defense against federal anti-choice attacks and ensure that there are no barriers to accessing the full spectrum of reproductive health care, including abortion care, in our state.
Not only must we anticipate and prepare for Roe to fall, we must also proactively protect and expand reproductive freedom and assert its importance as a cornerstone of gender equality.
Our top priority for the 2019-2020 legislative session is An Act to Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access, or the ROE Act.
The ROE Act (S.1209, H.3320) would reform our state’s abortion laws, ensuring that anyone, regardless of age, income, or insurance, can access safe, legal abortion. This bill would:
- Put the right to abortion in state law;
- Improve access for young people by ending the onerous judicial bypass system which disproportionately impacts low-income teens and teens of color;
- Allow for abortions after 24 weeks in cases of lethal fetal diagnoses, ensuring medical decisions remain between a patient and their doctor;
- Update inflammatory and medically inaccurate definitions of abortion and pregnancy in the law which currently define the “unborn child” as existing from the moment of implantation;
- Remove a mandatory 24-hour waiting period for abortion care. Though currently unenforced, dismantling Roe could easily bring this law back to life; and
- Establish safety net coverage for abortion care for people who don’t have health insurance.
The ROE Act goes above and beyond the protections of Roe v. Wade, and will break down unjust barriers to safe, legal abortion and build healthier, more equitable communities.
Protecting and expanding abortion access is not only the right thing to do, but it’s what the Massachusetts voters want.
To make this bold vision a reality, we need every voice raised every step of the way. For more information on how to get involved with the ROE Act, check out the ROE Coalition’s Action Network page. To be the first to know when this bill advances and needs your support, sign up for our Choice Action Network email list.